APC Revision Top Ten Tips

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There is no getting away from the fact that, whilst the RICS Assessment of Professional Competence is an experience-based interview, a lot of knowledge is required to convince the assessors of your competence.

Level 1 of every competency represents the knowledge base that underpins competence. This means APC candidates will need to revise to be able to articulate the reasoning behind their specific examples of competency evidence.

The breadth of the property profession is staggering, even broken down into competencies the knowledge base is a daunting task. This article is mainly aimed at the Property Pathways (valuation, commercial property, residential) but is useful for all candidates.

Here are my top ten tips to help you tackle your Level 1 revision:

 1. Pathway Guide

If all else fails, read the instructions! The Pathway Guide should be viewed like a mark scheme and is used by the assessors to ensure they test you thoroughly. Make sure you are very familiar with the Pathway Guide competency descriptions. 

2.    2. Mind maps

Anyone who has my Commercial or Residential APC Revision Guides (www.apctaylormade.co.uk), will know I am a huge fan of mind maps. Most of us are visual learners and the brain is not linear. A colourful mind map poster of key competency reference points is much easier to remember than a list.  

3.    3.  Audio learning

Download an app to read pdf’s to you. This provides variety in the input mechanism and can be listened to whilst walking or driving. 

4.    4RICS Website and isurv

Much of level 1 is around the relevant law and RICS guidance. The RICS website knowledge tab has all the guidance listed and available for download. If you need more context to the guidance, isurv is an excellent reference source. 

5.    5. Professional journals

An important part of level 1 is being up to date. The RICS Property Journal and Estates Gazette are my two favourite revision tools. The RICS Property Journal has in depth forward looking articles organised by area of practice and Estates Gazette has an excellent data section including a Pathway to Success APC article series written by ME and Jon Lever.  

6.    6. Just read!

Throughout your APC you should be reading and doing CPD. Don’t try to remember everything but read as you would a newspaper, and read widely. This will increase your technical vocabulary and holistic understanding of the profession. 

7.     7. Micro learning

You are all busy people and learning can’t get more bite sized than 140 characters! Twitter is an amazing learning tool used extensively by RICS. I post APC tips every day, so why not check them out here: @KateTay73593006 

8.    8.  Revision Workshops

There are several providers of revision workshops. These can be a confidence building investment for those who choose to take part. I am involved with Revision Workshops from DeLever.com. 

9.    9. Organisation

Create a folder electronically or in hard copy and store all the useful RICS guidance and articles from people like me in one place, organised by competency.

 10. Timetable

You will need to diary your revision and prioritise your APC. You should be doing relevant CPD throughout your structured training period but in the last six months revision is also required.

These 10 tips are all about level 1. Please don’t forget you also need to practise the skills needed to demonstrate your experience at level 2 and 3 - but more about this in a future blog…

Watch this space!

Guest blogger Kate Taylor FRICS Assoc CIPD is an experienced RICS APC assessor and chairman with a passion for professional development. She sits on the RICS UK APC Appeals Panel, the RICS UK Valuation Board and is the lead RICS Valuation Tutor for distance learning in valuation.

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